09 August 2006
Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf launched University of Liberia's Public Policy Forum and recognized over 30 UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) staff members who are volunteering as professors. She also dedicated the refurbished University of Liberia Auditorium, financed by the Government's Quick Impact Projects programme.
Recognizing UNMIL staff members who have volunteered to teach at the University, President Johnson Sirleaf said: “I congratulate you, I commend you and I thank you for this service to our people that goes beyond that which you already do in the service of your various positions. For sharing your intellect with our young people, we hope in return you get from them something that enriches your own capacity and deepens your experience.”
President Johnson-Sirleaf commended the University for reviving the Public Policy Forum and challenged the academic staff to make the Forum as interesting and dynamic as it was during the pre-war era, and provide an opportunity for substantive study of policy issues and strategies required to move the country forward.
Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) Alan Doss, quoting a former US President, said: “Next in importance to freedom and justice is education, without which neither freedom nor justice can be permanently maintained.” He said the launch of the Public Policy Forum will help the university reclaim its role at the centre of the intellectual life of this nation.
The SRSG said that UNMIL was neither a development institution nor an education programme, as the Mission's principal role is to help secure and consolidate peace, without which the education system cannot be rebuilt in Liberia. “We take this opportunity to again remind people that UNMIL will continue to act vigorously to deal with any threats to the peace. We have the capacity and the will to do so. We cannot allow the massive investment that the people of this country and the international community has made, to be lost.
Commending UNMIL staff for volunteering to work with the University, Mr. Doss said UNMIL will do its part to work with the Government to ensure young Liberian's have access to a bright future, in a peaceful, stable and prosperous Liberia.
The 34 men and women from UNMIL will teach a variety of subjects including Engineering, Law, Business Administration, International Relations; Political Science, Social Science, Economics, Environmental Management and Information Technology.